Having read some of the reviews of Queen Elizabeth cruises I was having some concerns about this Alaska cruise. Different people have different experiences, even on the same voyage, and I was pleased we enjoyed our June 10-day cruise very much. We had been on this ship only once before and that was in Princess Grill. This time we were in a Britannia balcony stateroom.
Embarkation in Vancouver can be chaotic, but some improvements in the procedure have been made since our last cruise from that port four years ago. Although we are now top-tier members of Cunard’s loyalty programme and entitled to preferred check-in we were given a time of 3:00 p.m. Our travel agent phoned Cunard and was told that we need pay no attention to that and can expect to board at 12:15. I have made comments in the appropriate Cruise Critic forum about the Vancouver embarkation so will not elaborate, other than to say there is still a lot of walking to do and going up to the convention level then back down again, but we did not have to stand for any length of time. We did arrange for a wheelchair for me wife who can’t walk long distances or stand for a long time. Cunard permitted early boarding (about 11:00) with the understanding that staterooms would be available between 12:00 and 12:30. We had arrived at the baggage drop-off area to receive the wheelchair assistance at 10:45 and were sipping tea in the ship’s Lido at 11:15.
I am not going to complain about the weather, but anyone unfamiliar with a cruise to Alaska is advised to be prepared for anything, except maybe a summer snow-storm. On our previous Alaska cruise four years ago there was not a drop of rain. This time we had plenty and it was quite cold on deck, but comfortably cool in the ports. I brought a light toque, scarf and gloves for my walks on deck.
As indicated in the review, this had an unusual shape. With it being longer on one side than the other, the balcony door and window were on a sharp angle. The added space could have held another small sofa or a large chair but was left empty. Otherwise it was a standard cabin with a king-sized bed, small sofa, desk and a small but adequate toilet, sink and shower room.